Chemistry MPhil, PhD

Entry requirements:
2:1 +
3 years (PhD), 2 years (MPhil)
6 years (PhD), 4 years (MPhil)
Start date:
January, April, July, October 2018
UK/EU fees:
International fees:



in the UK for Chemistry

Guardian University Guide 2018


£17m STEMLab facility



The Department of Chemistry is undergoing an exciting period of development. Our new laboratories and newly refurbished research laboratories provide an outstanding environment to conduct scientific research.

Our strengths are in analytical science including: the study and detection of biomarkers; in energy research such as solar energy harvesting, hydrogen generation, functional energy materials/coatings, photochemistry, and batteries and supercapacitors; and in catalytic, synthetic and flow methods to prepare new molecules for health and materials applications.

As a research student in the Department of Chemistry you will join a team of around 45 staff members and approximately 50 research students plus post-doctoral researchers and fellows. You will be encouraged to participate in conferences and provided with opportunities to present your research work.

Much of the current research is supported by Research Councils, Government Departments, Charitable Institutions and Industrial Companies.

There are four main areas of research activity: analytical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic and biomedical chemistry, and physical chemistry.

Staff in the department are engaged in high profile research that reflects key national and international strategic imperatives.

Entry requirements

A good degree (usually 1st or 2:1) in chemistry or a closely related discipline.

IELTS: overall 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component.

Research areas


Research is focused on innovation in the production and storage of green energy, electrochemistry and photochemistry.

Markers and Detection

The focus is on the discovery and application of markers of health, vitality and disease. New molecular markers provide valuable opportunities for other researchers, as well as different approaches to the management and characterisation of complex situations.

Catalysis and Functional Molecules

The research involves the development of new catalytic methods and reaction chemistries to develop novel functional molecules with applications in health and materials science.

Your personal and professional development

Support from your supervisor

You will have at least two academic supervisors who will guide you in your research. We provide training courses on research methods, safety, use of instrumentation and IT and we also offer a regular programme of seminars from visiting lecturers.

Our research students attend group meetings and conferences, and can gain practical experience of teaching undergraduate students as well as having opportunities to undertake research placements.

Skills and experience

A PhD programme will give you the opportunity to develop new and highly sought after skills which can set you up for a range of careers. It’s a chance to make a novel contribution to knowledge, to become a world expert in a particular field, and it can open a range of doors with different employers. You'll also enhance your interpersonal skills, such as networking and relationship building, which will be invaluable in your future career.

As a research student in the Department of Chemistry, you will be encouraged to participate in conferences and provided with opportunities to present their research work.

Future career prospects

Recent graduate destinations include:

  • Lubrizol, Research Chemist
  • AWE, Analytical Scientist
  • Boots, Senior Analyst Scientist
  • Natural History Museum, Post-doctoral Research Associate.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

Our facilities

We are located inside a modern, spacious building, which includes research laboratories and study areas for where you can gain first-hand experience of the latest techniques in analytical, environmental, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry.

Our research laboratories house state-of-the-art equipment with access to specialist instruments and facilities, including a world-class Mass Spectrometry Lab (orbitrap, inductively coupled plasma, and ion mobility instruments, GC-MS and LC-MS), three NMR spectrometers (2 x 400 MHz, and a 500 MHz solid-state instrument), single crystal and powder X-ray diffractometers, GC, HPLC and elemental analysis.

The Energy Research Lab houses electrochemistry, laser spectroscopy, photocurrent spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, and advanced microwave materials synthesis/processing facilities.

Access to our facilities will allow you to gain experience of the latest techniques in research. Students will have access to research laboratories containing a full range of analytical and spectroscopic instrumentation, a worldclass mass spectrometry suite, single crystal and powder X-ray diffraction, laser spectroscopy and a dedicated bio-lab. You will also have access to their own research space (desk, lab bench and fume cupboard space), and all equipment and facilities.

How to apply

If you can't find a suitable PhD opportunity that fits your interests and experience from our funded (studentships) and unfunded opportunities, you can submit a research proposal to the Department of Chemistry in the hope of finding a supervisor who will work with you on your dream project.

You do not need to submit a detailed research proposal with your application to the Department of Chemistry, but you should indicate which area of research you wish to pursue and/or the names of staff members you are interested in working with.